You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 7:19 a.m.

Cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers

By Staff


chef Dan Jacobs holds a plate of shishito peppers at Roots Restaurant and Cellar in Milwaukee. The recent heat wave and drought across the upper Midwest have taken a toll on some crops, but Jacobs has noticed the weather has helped make some peppers extra-spicy. Jacobs says some jalapeno peppers have become so powerful that he has to be careful how he serves them.

AP Photo | Dinesh Ramde

The Associated Press

The recent heat wave and drought across the upper Midwest have taken a toll on some crops, but the weather has helped make some peppers extra-spicy and other vegetables more flavorful. For diners who want to take advantage of extra-hot peppers, here's a recipe for jalapeno poppers from Milwaukee chef Dan Jacobs.


The seeds and inner membranes of the jalapenos contain much of their heat. They can be left in or scraped out and discarded depending on your heat tolerance.

Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours

Makes 18 halves

3 ounces diced pancetta

9 large jalapeno peppers (about 12 ounces)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

1 quart canola or peanut oil, for frying

Sour cream, to serve

Salsa, to serve

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, brown the pancetta until lightly crisp, about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain excess fat. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise. If desired, use the tip of the knife to scrape out and discard the seeds and membranes.

In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and pancetta. Use a butter knife to spread a bit of the cream cheese mixture into each jalapeno half. The cheese filling should be level with the sides of the peppers, not mounded.

Place the milk in one wide, shallow bowl, the flour in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. One at a time, dip the stuffed jalapeno halves first in the milk, then in the flour, shaking off any excess, but making certain the peppers are well coated. Arrange the peppers on a plate and allow to dry for 10 minutes.

Once the peppers have dried a bit, dunk them again in the milk, then roll them in the breadcrumbs to coat well. Set them aside again to dry for another 10 minutes. Repeat the process of dunking the peppers in the milk and breadcrumbs one final time. By this point, the milk will be more of a sludge, but this is fine.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil to 365 F. Working in batches of 3 so as not to crowd the pan, add the jalapenos and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers to paper towels to drain excess oil. Check the temperature of the oil between batches, then repeat with the remaining peppers.

Serve immediately with sour cream and salsa.


(Recipe adapted from Dan Jacobs, executive chef at Roots Restaurant and Cellar in Milwaukee)


Andrew R. Gorsuch

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Those Shishito peppers look awesome and they are uber trendy right now!


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

I'm not entirely sure what the photograph is depicting (a blurred char-grilled flank steak?), but it does not appear to match the text below the picture.


Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

Well, Ms. Webster, since I'm not involved in its production, I can't explain it. However, the earlier picture was blurry, was of some kind of meat with grill marks on it, and it was resting on what appeared to be (again, it was blurry) a charcoal grill. I didn't imagine it. How it was changed without leaving a trace detectable by you is beyond my (and, apparently, your) explanation. The current picture was NOT the picture in the article at the time of my first post (8:26 AM).

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jul 30, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

DBH: not sure where the flank steak you saw came from, but this photo of peppers has been with this entry from the beginning. You had me worried so I checked - no edits have been made today.


Sun, Jul 29, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Although there is no acknowledgement by, the picture has now been changed to match the text.